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Holmdel resident among eight women to receive Girl Scout Phenom Award

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Girl Scouts will celebrate, recognize and honor eight Jersey Shore women for their accomplishments at work and in the community at a Phenomenal Women Under 40 event on Sept. 22 in Howell.

Among the honorees is Holmdel resident Alaina Bontales, clinical director of Patient Care for Inpatient Oncology at Monmouth Medical Center, Long Branch, and a volunteer at the Holmdel Greek Orthodox Church, where she created a religious bookstore to earn the Girl Scout Gold Award when she was a high school student, according to a press release from Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore.

“Our Jersey Shore community is home to many remarkable women,” said Eileen Higgins, chief executive officer of Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore. “This year, we are thrilled to recognize and celebrate eight outstanding role models who embody the Girl Scout go-getter spirit.”

“In this challenging time, Girl Scouts more than ever need positive role models to inspire them and encourage them on their path to becoming leaders,” Higgins added.

Phenom Award recipients were selected from a public nomination process that considered “leadership in the workplace, community volunteerism, and demonstrated hard work and dedication necessary to be a success,” said Teri O’Connor, chairwoman of Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore Board of Directors.

Other Phenom Award recipients from Monmouth County are:

• Danielle M. Jones, Eatontown, who serves as Student Communications and Leadership Development specialist for the Educational Opportunity Fund at Brookdale Community College and councilwoman for Eatontown;

• Eboné Lawrence-Smith, Neptune, a teacher in the Long Branch Public School District and a member of Quinn Chapel AME Church in Atlantic Highlands, where she is active on many committees;

• Shannon Oreficé, Eatontown, the director of programs for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Coastal and Northern New Jersey and advocate for social justice.

Honorees from Ocean County are Kristina Henderson, Pine Beach; Chelsea Masterson, Toms River; Megan O’Keefe, Bayville; and Melissa Schwaner, Manahawkin.

The community is invited to attend the outdoor event, which will take place from 6-8 p.m., under a tent adjoining the Girl Scout Program Activity Center in Howell. COVID-19 guidelines will be followed.

The Ohana Grill Food Truck and the Roving Bar will roll up with dinner, dessert and beverages for guests, according to the press release.

Proceeds will support leadership programs for nearly 9,000 Girl Scouts representing every ZIP code in Monmouth and Ocean counties and help fund the organization’s financial assistance program to ensure all girls can join and benefit from leadership programs.

Event co-chairs are past Phenom honorees Jamie Bertram, Jersey Shore BlueClaws; Kate Dowd, New Jersey Resources; and Stephanie Toal, OceanFirst Foundation.

Sponsorship and underwriting opportunities ranging from $350 to $3,000 are available to local businesses and individuals. Event tickets are $85 and tickets for a 50/50 raffle, to be drawn at the event, are $10 each.

To attend, sponsor or get more information about the event, go to GSFun.org/phenom or call 800-785-2090.

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